I guess I never told you that we were going to Florida. Well, we're back, and Miss Em is off to her next adventure.
I'm in the waning days of my vacation, and love nothing more than curling up with a good book. FROM THE LIBRARY. Everyone knows that is a key part of Frugality 101: use the library.
One book I'm reading and loving is this.
Yes, I am thinking about multi-generational housing.
Every few days, it seems, there is some article on the increase in multi-generational housing brought on by the financial meltdown, We hear of college grads or young adults moving in with parents; parents moving in with kids; the middle-aged moving in with even older parents; or the same older parents moving in with their middle-aged kids. This is always presented as some dire necessity,* to be escaped from ASAP.
The parents of the baby boomers are especially horrified at the prospect. My mother--aged 81--was talking about assisted living, and I suggested she move in with us if she needed extra care. She said, "That is the cruelest thing anyone has ever said to me." I didn't mean it that way! I thought I was nice.
Anyway, the dire articles always have zillions of comments, most, like my mother, horrified. Then there are those, mostly of Asian descent, who say: That's how we do it! Some point out that college grads who do that can save up for a house. The elderly can hang with their grandchildren and children. Multi-generational housing is presented as positive--something that can be pro-active, rather than simple re-active to economic or other emergency.
That last has been especially on my mind. Instead of a few intense (and not always in a good way) visits to relatives, wouldn't it be nice to have a more low-key relationship--every now and again, for a short time?
The book pictured above shows many ingenious transformations of houses (and not Mcmansions) to accommodate more than one family, with opportunities for togetherness and lots of privacy. I've already figured out how my 2000 square foot house with small back building could accommodate not one, but two families in addition to Mr FS and me.
Food for thought. What do you think of the issue of multi-generational housing?
*After writing dire necessity, I knew it was from somewhere. It is: Milton's Samson Agonistes. This tells of Samson's death, when he pulls the walls of the temple down, killing the Philistines and himself.
O dearly-bought revenge, yet glorious!
Living or dying thou hast fulfill'd
The work for which thou wast foretold
To Israel, and now ly'st victorious
Among thy slain self-kill'd
Not willingly, but tangl'd in the fold
Of dire necessity